Heart Search is a first novel for UK author Carlie M.A. Cullen. This is most unashamedly a paranormal romance novel. I usually don't read romance novels, but occasionally I do like a good paranormal romance. The plot, as depicted in the blurb for this book, intrigued me. I was most certainly NOT disappointed!
One bite starts it all . . . When Joshua Grant vanishes days before his wedding his fiancée Remy is left with only bruises, scratch marks and a hastily written note. Heartbroken, she sets off alone to find him and begins a long journey where strange things begin to happen. As Joshua descends into his new immortal life he indulges his thirst for blood and explores his superhuman strength and amazing new talents while becoming embroiled in coven politics which threaten to destroy him. But Remy discovers a strength of her own on her quest to bring Joshua home. Fate toys with mortals and immortals alike, as two hearts torn apart by darkness face ordeals which test them to their limits.
Two weeks before their wedding, Remy’s fiancé, Joshua, hurts her physically. Although he doesn't know why, he is changing and not for the better, Joshua hates himself for what he’s done. As he changes, so do both his state of mind and his perceptions. He disappears a few days before the wedding.
After a brief descent into an emotional breakdown, Remy heeds advice from her identical twin, Becky, to fight for Joshua. She finds a diary which leads her to believe something strange happened to her fiancé and suspects it was something he had no say in. She resolves to find him, and sets off on a long, lonely journey around the country. As the days turn into weeks, then months, she has to fight through emotional turmoil and find an inner strength just to keep going. Strange things begin to happen to Remy and she questions her sanity.
Cullen takes you into the minds and the eyes of her characters. Her descriptions are thick with visuals and layered with emotion. Joshua is sexy and compelling even though he is not always likeable, but he is a vampire so there you go. His coven is the same way. Samir, his maker is loving and caring for his ‘children’ and they in turn adore him. As individuals they are inherently selfish and uncaring of anyone but their own society, and Cullen portrays this well.
This story is as much about Remy coming to terms with the way her life has been changed and learning who she is as much as it is her search for Joshua. It is also a story about Joshua learning how to live his new life, which is well drawn and drew me in.
She portrays Joshua’s society very clearly, introducing the various factions and power struggles well, and shows how Remy becomes a central element in the vampires’ internecine battles. The unforeseen changes which occur in Remy's life are also depicted well.
I admit I found the author's style of heavy descriptions a bit daunting at first, but I quickly got into the swing of things. I really enjoyed the story and cared about the characters; so much so I couldn't put the book down until I'd finished it. Cullen tells this story in two parallel threads, which I most definitely liked. You get a good view of both Joshua and Remy as they experience their lives through this crisis and other crises which loom.
This book has an original plot, interesting characters and a unique delivery! The book is clearly a set up for a second book, which I am looking forward to and will definitely buy. I recommend it for those who read and enjoy a good paranormal romance novel. Carlie M.A. Cullen is an author to watch!